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Creating & Sticking To A Self-Care Plan

January 28, 2023

Creating A Self-Care Plan

Over the past few years, there has definitely been a lot of talk about the value of practising self-care and developing a routine. The concept of taking care of one's physical and mental health with a holistic (whole body) approach is admirable, but it can be a little daunting.

Self-care practises may appear like an uphill battle for people who have never engaged in them, as well as impractical in today's extremely busy (and chaotic) environment. You may have given it a shot but failed to stick with it, leaving you with the impression that they lack the necessary aptitude.

You might feel up to the task, but acknowledging your need for self-care is another. Another is actually starting a self-care routine that can enhance your life, especially in light of all the uncontrollable events that occur in the world.

Everyone's definition of self-care, though, is different. Your preferred method of stress relief might not be beneficial to your best friend. Even partners in strong, committed relationships often have distinct differences when it comes to things like companionship, physical activity, and leisure time.

Here are our top tips;

Start With Your Physical Needs

Your body's physical needs include those that keep it healthy and functioning properly.

When thinking about physical self-care, list your needs and any actions you already take to address them. Put more emphasis on these in your self-care plan if you find any areas where you'd like to make improvements.

  • Sleep

Adults typically require 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night. Regularly not getting enough good sleep can have an impact on your mood, ability to concentrate, and general health.

Not getting the appropriate amount of sleep is very typical, but the good news is that you can frequently increase both the quantity and quality of your sleep on your own.

  • Health Check-ups

Setting aside your fear of the doctor's office and promptly seeking medical attention for any problems can be considered good self-care.

If you haven't observed any issues and are typically in good health, you might question the need for an annual exam - especially if you don't have insurance.

However, scheduling routine medical checkups with a professional might help you identify health issues early on, before they worsen. Small problems can soon worsen and have an impact on other elements of health, such hunger and sleep.

  • Nutrition

The varieties of food you eat are only one aspect of good nutrition.

The best way to maintain good health is to eat a balanced diet and prioritise nourishing foods above those that provide few health benefits.

It's equally crucial to think about your eating habits: Do you wait until you're famished and then chow down between meetings, as you dash from home to work, or while watching TV?

Or do you allow yourself enough time to eat slowly and at regular intervals, allowing you to focus on your food and savour each bite?

  • Exercise

Current recommendations for exercise for Adults who are physically able to is to engage in at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity each week.

When you dislike what you're doing, exercising can seem like a tedious chore. But if it's enjoyable or even recreational, you'll probably want to do it more frequently.

It's important to choose exercises that you enjoy (or at the very least don't hate performing) when including exercise in your self-care routine. If you detest running, think about buying a bike or a set of roller skates as an alternative to running shoes.

  • Physical Touch

People frequently refer to "intimacy" for "sex." However, other kinds of physical touch are equally crucial for wellbeing.

Humans require touch to survive, and being without it might have negative health effects.

Looking for self-care techniques that satisfy your need for touch? You could try;

  • Being massaged (professionally, or swap massages with a friend or partner)
  • Giving yourself a hug or hugging a loved one
  • Get yourself a “cuddle buddy”
  • Getting a pet, or offering to pet-sit

What About Our Mental Needs

Both cognitive and mental health needs are referred to as mental needs. In other words, you should think about what gives you mental energy and keeps you feeling alert.

  • Avoid Stress

Mental health is significantly influenced by stress levels.

Investigating the issues that are now stressing you out is a smart place to start. How do you handle those problems? Can any be gotten rid of? If not, how can you handle them more effectively?

  • Set Boundaries

Setting clear boundaries can help you safeguard the time you set aside for yourself, which can reduce stress.

Setting these boundaries could be something like stating your preference to not do something, declining to do extra work or expressing needs to others directly.

  • Get Your Brain Active

The benefits of developing and strengthening your mind can be enormous for general wellness.

Increasing cognitive abilities could entail reading to gain new knowledge or even playing video games to sharpen focus.

  • Chat To A Therapist

Therapy plays a significant role in many people's self-care. You can experience considerable improvement by working through any mental health symptoms with a professional, which can be advantageous for both your emotional and physical well-being.

Even if you don't have any obvious symptoms, professional support can still be beneficial. Everyone encounters obstacles and allowing them to pile up can cause stress and exhaustion.

Therapy offers a place to develop coping mechanisms and go through anything on your mind if you feel overwhelmed for any reason.

  • Take A Break

Allowing yourself to occasionally lose focus and unwind allows your brain to rejuvenate, which fosters maximum performance.

Insufficient mental rest may be the cause of your frequent attentional wandering. When you feel overstimulated, taking a vacation from electronics could be considered self-care for you. To give your brain a break, try drawing, taking nature walks, or taking quick naps.

Setting aside time for enjoyment and play also helps. A busy schedule filled with obligations and little free time is frequently a precursor to oncoming burnout.

And Our Last Pillar… Emotional Needs

Emotions and feelings can offer hints about what you are missing in your life. Getting in touch with your emotions, learning to comprehend what they are trying to tell you, and using this knowledge to better safeguard your emotional health are all part of practising emotional self-care.

  • Practice Mindfulness

When you don't understand your emotions, it can be difficult to let them lead you.

Make it a point to sit with your feelings more often because doing so makes it simpler to acknowledge emotional demands and identify when they are not met.

If you have problems connecting with your emotions, adding meditation or journaling to your self-care routine may be beneficial. It might also be beneficial to express your emotions to trusted persons.

  • Get Social

Although precise needs for social connection can vary depending on personality and other circumstances, most people need to spend some time engaging in meaningful social engagement.

Spending more time connecting may be necessary if you experience loneliness frequently. If you frequently feel overstimulated or even agitated among people, give alone time more importance.

Spending time with friends and family can help you meet your social requirements but reaching out and forming new relationships in your community can also be beneficial.

  • Take Some “Me Time”

Everyone needs alone time to relax.

This is different for everyone, but it could mean:

  • Taking a personal day from work when you're feeling disengaged
  • Designating a space at home that’s just for you
  • Setting aside time for your favourite hobby

Whatever you choose to do with your time, quiet relaxation is crucial for emotional well-being, therefore every self-care strategy should include some type of alone time.

 

But How Does It All Become A Plan?

A good rule of thumb when planning anything, that is commonly practiced, is to think S.M.A.R.T.

  • Specific: Set yourself realistic & tangible goals.
  • Measurable: Decide how your going to keep track of each goal.
  • Achievable: Make all of your goals realistic. If you start with unachievable goals, you’ll feel deflated when you don’t reach them.
  • Relevant: Stay focussed on things that you actually want to change.
  • Time-Bound: Setting realistic timeframes is just as important as setting realistic goals.

 

Self-care is significantly influenced by self-discovery. Finding more effective ways to take care of yourself is attainable by becoming more aware of your unique needs.

Following the identification of your own needs, you can begin to compile a list of your daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly requirements.

Remember that your needs for self-care frequently alter throughout time, especially when you consider what's going on in the outside world.

Take a look at some of our Self-Care Plan templates at the bottom of the page and decide which one works best for you? Of maybe you want to create your own plan that suits your lifestyle.

 

Our Final Tips

  • Stick with it: The idea that it takes 21 days of consistent behaviour for something to become a routine has gained traction through time. However that data was extracted out of context from an early study. The truth is a habit can take anywhere from 18 to 250 days to form, with 66 days being the norm. But that figure does not apply to everyone. Some habits are simpler to establish than others, and it might vary from person to person.
  • Don’t get discouraged: As you work to build these habits, it's crucial to keep in mind that your individual pace may fluctuate, so try not to get too worried if you experience a hard patch or lapse. After all, these habits are supposed to make your life less demanding. Failures will occur and it's crucial to be kind to yourself when mistakes are made. These breaks can occur for a variety of reasons, including scheduling changes, competing demands for your time or attention, or even just to treat yourself.

Self-Care Planner 1

Self-Care Planner 2

Self-Care Planner 3

Self-Care Planner 4


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